State Rep. Tavia Galonski today voiced her concerns for future high school graduates after an amendment to Senate Bill (SB) 216 that included language from her House Bill (HB) 630 to extend the current high school graduation requirements for two more years was tabled during Wednesday’s House session.
Galonski introduced HB 630 in May, and the bill did not receive a public hearing before the legislative summer break.
“As we continue to research the most reasonable requirements for students to graduate high school, we need to offer future graduating seniors the same alternative pathways so that they are not subjected to narrow requirements that still need improved upon,” said Galonski. “This is not giving an easy pass to the classes of 2019 and 2020, but rather a means to ensure that the expectations are streamlined between them and prior graduating classes while final decision making is still in progress.”
The initial graduation requirement demanded that high school seniors pass seven end of the year examinations before satisfying their diploma requirements. These requirements were challenged with the passage of HB 49, the state biennial budget, by extending the temporary language of last year’s state budget allowing for multiple alternative pathways to graduation, which were only available through the class of 2018.
“I am disappointed not only that Chairman Brenner does not seem to realize that we have a very small window of opportunity to fix this, but also that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle were not able to see the importance of extending the current graduation requirements,” Galonski. “It is a disservice to these upcoming seniors as an already uncertain time just became even more uncertain.”
SB 216 passed out of the House 60-33 and will now go back to the Senate for concurrence. The legislature began summer recess on June 28th and will not hear anymore bills until September at the earliest.